This exciting invitation to take to the air is one energetic and entertaining journey for adventurers and aviation lovers...

PLANES FLY!

Imagination takes flight in this masterfully illustrated, bouncing verse for the plane-obsessed.

Beautifully composed drawings thrill, as biplanes, jet planes, prop planes and seaplanes take to the skies. Wiggins applies an old travel poster aesthetic to his digital illustrations—and delivers on their promise of adventure, enticing readers into the world of air travel. Soaring into a vast blue sky, he captures the feeling of unlimited space, the freedom of flying. When they are on the ground, his planes are epic, mammoth machines. Even in a storm—with the light bouncing through clouds, illuminating the plane from underneath—the effect is idyllic. His choices, from a warm palette, excellent use of pattern and a texture that alludes to the use of linen paper, make everything about this journey feel special. Lyon’s informative, rhyming text touches on the mechanical (from plane parts and types) as well as the emotional (the experiences of both pilot and passenger). Her verse goes beyond enumerating a plane’s basic purposes to affirming the spirit of flight and exploration: “Climb through clouds / heading for blue— / just like a bird. / Air holds you.”

This exciting invitation to take to the air is one energetic and entertaining journey for adventurers and aviation lovers alike . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4424-5025-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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A brassy, assertive fellow—young readers in the middle of their own power struggles will relate.

TOUGH TUG

A tugboat’s size and might are easy to anthropomorphize; add this personified puffer to the mix.

Tough Tug is built near Seattle, made of strong steel welded together and adorned with a fresh coat of bright red paint. Wide googly eyes and a determined smile complete the look. On launch day, Tough Tug triumphantly flashes forward and backward, twirling and swirling through the water. Older tugboats (distinguished variously by mustaches, glasses, and eye patches) grumble at the youngster’s bravado. “Push and pull is what tugs do. Practice THAT.” Tough Tug’s first job is to tow a barge to Alaska. Rhythmic mantras churn across the surface of the water in bold navy letters: “Ready, steady. / Steady, ready. // Chug and tug. / Tug and chug.” But Tough Tug is overeager and challenges Arctic Tug to a race. The thrum changes to “Race and run! / Run and race!” Arctic Tug is first to Sitka, but while crossing the open ocean to Anchorage, the older tug gets into trouble. It’s Tough Tug to the rescue! McClurkan’s digital paintings look quite modern, but there is a feel to his foamy waves that recalls the mid-20th-century harbor of Little Toot. The anthropomorphized boats have plenty of personality, and readers who study the expressions on the container ships will be rewarded. An author’s note explains this was inspired by a true story of one tug rescuing another boat from a competing tugboat company.

A brassy, assertive fellow—young readers in the middle of their own power struggles will relate. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5039-5098-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force.

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A young boy yearns for what he doesn’t have, but his nana teaches him to find beauty in what he has and can give, as well as in the city where they live.

CJ doesn’t want to wait in the rain or take the bus or go places after church. But through Nana’s playful imagination and gentle leadership, he begins to see each moment as an opportunity: Trees drink raindrops from straws; the bus breathes fire; and each person has a story to tell. On the bus, Nana inspires an impromptu concert, and CJ’s lifted into a daydream of colors and light, moon and magic. Later, when walking past broken streetlamps on the way to the soup kitchen, CJ notices a rainbow and thinks of his nana’s special gift to see “beautiful where he never even thought to look.” Through de la Peña’s brilliant text, readers can hear, feel and taste the city: its grit and beauty, its quiet moments of connectedness. Robinson’s exceptional artwork works with it to ensure that readers will fully understand CJ’s journey toward appreciation of the vibrant, fascinating fabric of the city. Loosely defined patterns and gestures offer an immediate and raw quality to the Sasek-like illustrations. Painted in a warm palette, this diverse urban neighborhood is imbued with interest and possibility.

This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-25774-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2014

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